I am desperately holding on to summer in my kitchen. This weekend it really hit me that summer produce will be gone from the markets soon, and I had a minor panic attack about all the recipes I haven't made yet and won't be able to make until next summer - an eternity away! (yeah, yeah I know, #firstworldproblems). But then I remembered that even though Labor Day has come and gone, summer growing season hasn't actually ended yet. I calmed down and made an epic cooking plan for the week, making the most of the summeriest of fruits and vegetables. I even made some preserves, which I'll tell you about later. For now, I'm going to focus on this tomato and pepper dish, from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors. Big strips of roasted peppers and tomatoes are baked together with herbs, garlic, capers, and olives. The final product is a colorful, incredibly fragrant and flavorful dish that makes you feel like you are in some sunny Mediterranean country. It's very versatile - we ate it plain, on top of toasted bread, and stuffed into pitas with a spread of goat cheese. It would also pair well with hummus and would make a delicious sandwich with some mozzarella cheese. This recipe is definitely making it onto my Favorites page!
What are your favorite end of summer recipes?
Roasted peppers and tomatoes baked with capers and olives
Adapted from Local Flavors
4 large bell peppers, in a mix of red, orange, and yellow
1 1/4 pounds large, meaty red tomatoes, such as beefsteak or Roma
2 smaller yellow or orange tomatoes
1/2 cup parsley leaves
12 large basil leaves
1 large garlic clove
2 tbs capers, rinsed
12 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
3 tbs olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450-500 deg F. Halve peppers and remove ribs and seeds. Place peppers cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in preheated oven until skins are blackened and bubbling, about 20 minutes (you could also broil them). Remove peppers and place them in a bowl or tupperware container. Cover container and allow peppers to steam while you prepare the other ingredients. Reduce oven temperature to 400 deg F.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut a cross into the bottom of each tomato and drop them into the boiling water for 30 seconds. When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off skins, cut them in half, and remove seeds and tough cores. Cut the walls of the tomatoes into wide pieces.
Finely chop the parsley, basil, and garlic. Place them in a large bowl with the tomato pieces. Rub the skins off of the peppers, cut the flesh into wide strips, and add them to the bowl. Add the olive oil, capers, olives, 3/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Gently toss ingredients together and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer mixture to a gratin dish. Cover and bake for 20 mins, then allow to cool. Dish can be served chilled or at room temperature.